Tag Archives: Freedom of speech

Why I Do What I Do: Knowledge=Power

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Dear Obama: A Letter On Delusions and Disillusionment Past and Present.

Here’s My Initial Thoughts:

Official photographic portrait of US President...
Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Obama sure talked a big game in ’08 , slightly downsized in 2012,
Obama 2.012 was with its original luster…it was also a campaign I was a small part of hoping to practice what I preached;
But the whole campaign something for me just felt, well, it just felt kinda off….
 
What should have been clue #1
 
No longer was he promising change; government cooperation, transparency, and efficiency; a more open and available presidency where the president could make a complete sentence, a president in touch with the will of the common person, not the corporate personhood, repatriation of our fugitive civil liberties…. hmmmmm I wonder
 
Not really being totally gung-ho about Obama especially his foreign policy, and knowing it would be the same under either,  I made what I felt was the least shitty of two shitty choices, opting to take what I could get in the form of his domestic social policies vs. their non-existence under Mitt Romney.  It’s only a few months into his last and final lame duck term, and I’ve got the strong feeling I chose wrong
Mitt Romney in Fresno
Mitt Romney in Fresno (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 
The truth is, aside from his oratory, which is still good, but not great; certainly ranking much higher than Bush’s, he’s failed to deliver on any of these promises. Lately even his speeches have been coming up short, and falling flat and seem if anything empty, and lackluster.

Is It Time For Tough Love?

Despite having supported him on election day of ’08, and the campaign of 2012 as an intern, I have to show some tough love right now, because theres nothing I hate more than a fucking liar.

Dear Obama

I’ve had it!

It’s not me, it’s you; let me tell you why:

No more passes, no more silence, no longer will I allow my subconscious to ignore your repeated human rights abuses, persecution of web sites internet activists and whistle-blowers, or your escalation of the drone war and War on Terror.

The belief that it’s alright if, “they’re a son of a bitch, but they’re our son of a bitch” is both mistaken, and flawed. Just as it was when we applied it to brutal dictators willing to bow to US interests; Ngo Diem, Mubarrak, or Sadaam & Bin Laden; It’s flawed in the here, and the now.

If you were really “my guy” you would not be making empty promises you have no intention to deliver on. I wouldn’t be forced to make the least shitty of two shitty choices, forced to wipe and wash up afterwards either way….

You would be about that change you so clearly stated you wished to bring, boutty-bout it, but instead;

You’ve become just another political hack and a crony.

the only difference between yourself, and a career politician, is you’re not any good at it; obviously having no political leverage or capital as your failure to secure your agenda on gun control and the budget (sequester) make evident to us.  You fail to be effective at pushing for legislation many people actually want in the Senate with it’s Democrat majority, let alone the Republican House….

Your failure to do so despite the tragedy at Sandy Hook, yet the ease with which you took away or “suspended” our miranda rights in the wake of the bombing at the Boston Marathon has been most enlightening……. and appears to be your MO, your modus operandi.

You wouldn’t refuse to release the prisoners from Guatanamo, many of whom we have long known are not terrorists, to their rightful homes, having been unlawfully imprisoned and tortured for over 10 yrs…….

You wouldn’t have kill lists or claim to have the power to kill US citizens overseas with drone strikes…..

You also wouldn’t persecute anyone bringing it from the darkness of shadow into the light, by putting it online, speaking about it publicly, or otherwise making it available for the American people to find……

Frodo Baggins:

Elijah Wood as Frodo in Peter Jackson's live-a...
Elijah Wood as Frodo in Peter Jackson’s live-action version of The Lord of the Rings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Far from the shire, you now sit atop Mt.Doom gazing at the fire, finally able to destroy the one ring….and you can’t do it, placing it snugly back upon your finger, fading away into invisibility, just like the you I thought we’d once come to know.

No longer are you behind those ideals and beliefs as myself as you once were, or claimed to be. A born again Christian, only in reverse; its like you became a Jehova Witness goin door to door to spread the word on nights and weekends.

Keep that gospel, drink your bullshit and your lies down with that Jim Jones Kool-Aid for all I give a fuck;
Just stuff it.

No More:

Your failure to enact any meaningful legislation, or to step above the fray and carry yourself with honesty and dignity in addressing the American people, your secrecy, half-truth, white lies and those of the bold faced variety have taken their toll on me, and on all of us for that matter.

The only transparency you’re concerned with is the ability to carry out an agenda and it’s policies so transparent nobody else can see it. The only rights are those you take away and give to the executive branch of government so you may better remain within the shadows, safely invisible while wearing the ring you once wished to destroy and now adore.

The only problem is, you’re not Tolkien, this is not “The Lord of the Rings” and there is no Gollum saving you from your poor choices and ultimate frailty of your will; There are no Elven ships to take you from these shores to Vallinor to save you from the burden of your choices it was a fictional fantasy;

There’s just us,

For you to restore your faith to me, to us, all you must do is make good on those words you speak, as opposed to them being merely empty words.  That is the true measure of a man and where you consistently come up short.  Until you honor your word as your bond, until you become worthy of the Nobel prize you won, until you step from the shadows, bringing your actions clearly into the light-as they should be, until you stop using the justice department to unjustly persecute those who embarrass you by telling people the truth you’re unwilling to tell; you are not a leader, or a man.

In the meantime,

I’ve had it! 

 

CITIZENS MUST UNITE AGAINST CITIZENS V. UNITED: THIS IS ALL OUR FIGHT

United States Official Films
United States Official Films (Photo credit: Vintaga Posters)

Why This Could Be Democracy‘s Last Gasp:

All Men Were Created Equal.. Or at least so they said….

Hopefully, we are not unaware to the fact this has not always been the case.  Large groups of people were at various times denied the simple ability to enjoy their rights the same, especially the right to take part in the political process.  For this “fact” we take for granted, to in fact become reality, required much work.  Great sacrifices made the Bill of Rights most  famous phrase “all men are created equal” ring true (at least closer to the truth), but there is further yet to go.

While complacency comes easily to a generation free from want or struggle; Governance of our nation, simply placed on “cruise control” is folly.  An act comparable to falling asleep at the wheel.  Our rights are no longer safe, our interests no longer pursued;  In short, our trust is misplaced.

Our collective interests have never been MORE threatened, major gains made towards leveling the playing field, ensuring America is the land of opportunity for all have been undone.  Markets are deregulated, allowing the near fatal Wall Street collapse, hard-fought gains made by Unions tarnished and undone.  Safeguards for the working man are being unraveled in the interest of appeasing the mythical Job-creating class.

Major corporations are posting record profits, as the rest of the nation is in the grips of a depression that appears everlasting. A single Supreme Court ruling has ensured our nations future, will be run in the interests of major corporations.  Unions, police officers, firefighters, and teachers  are labeled as special interests, while the implication that the interests of billionaires and the average worker are the same is well and alive.

Chevron Corporation
Chevron Corporation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Perhaps a reminder of what it cost will serve as a call to action,

People just like us, fought to be included, because it was what they wanted.  Hard-fought gains made through constant struggle now lie in mortal danger.   If we do not put aside petty differences and begin acting in the interest’s of people,

real people, flesh and blood people, like you or I; our nation will never be the same.

Corporate $$$ corrosively eats into the political process, cancer quickly metastasized until suddenly gone terminal.  If we do not take aggressive treatment against this malignant tumor, Democracy as we know it will wither and die.

The majority decision in Citizens v. United, has jeopardized the very thing taken for granted by my entire generation, the right to stand up and be heard.  However futile it may seem, it was a right hard for many to come by.  5 men, part of a court labeling itself Supreme,

silently hits delete on over 200 yrs. Of hard work, struggle and progress.

We must hold this Supreme Court accountable for its reverse activist stance, basing their decision Chevron or Shell have as much right to Free Speech as us, from a case with such a limited scope. But, Corporations ARE NOT people, this fact is plain!

While all men (and women) may (technically) be created equal, this constitutional protection should not apply to corporate entities.  How can the interests of you or I compete, with a fortune 500 company?

When someone such as Sheldon Adelson (who recently donated $10,000,000) has committed to spending as much as it takes to get his way, is it not common sense to believe that his interest will eventually be served over my own?

English: Sheldon and Miriam Adelson recieve Wo...
English: Sheldon and Miriam Adelson recieve Woodrow Wilson Awards Español: Sheldon and Miriam Adelson reciben Woodrow Wilson Awards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does anyone seriously believe that the advent of unlimited donations to the Super PAC has not tainted Democracy?

If for some strange reason your answer to that question is yes, …

I think you need to really take a second, maybe a deep breath or two (or even three),  and get your shit together.

There, thats better.

How can we confer upon a conscious-less being all the rights that you or I enjoy?  Are we able to prove premeditation or intent, or use emotion to establish a motive in a crime?  When was the last time you heard about a corporation receiving the death sentence, or anything other than a fine, (let alone jail time)? Aside from punitive damages the answer is really, NEVER.

The Very Nature of Corporations is Corrupt!

The interests being served are not yours or mine, unless, of course we sit upon the board as a CEO or large shareholder.  Corporations exist for the sole purpose of making a profit, every year more profit than the year before.

While it may be ok for their employees to be forced to sacrifice, it is never acceptable for corporations to just be getting by, able to afford paying the bills, but you might have to wait for that vacation home you want to buy.  How many people can relate to that idea?  Barely scraping by?

Money, for money’s sake at the cost of everything and anyone standing in their way, profit over people no matter the margin. That is the nature of the beast, the only possible outcome of a partnership born solely of greed is the neglect of basic human interests.

Do we really want to allow these people and company’s who have already bent the nation to their will

U.S. Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. ...
U.S. Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

to dominate electoral politics; providing them a blank check for “free speech”, government sold to the highest bidder?…. I think our government is fucked up enough already without muting the interests of the general population in pursuit of the all mighty dollar.

Without the constraints of citizenship, these multinational corporations are free to pick up and go wherever working costs and conditions are low….China, Latin America, India, Pakistan, this is where the jobs go. No loyalty, free to pick up and move shop, but their vote and their influence has already been cast.

Please take a second, offer your signature, donate if you feel so inclined. Do something though,  share the article, comment and speak your mind.  Doing nothing is just another shade of guilt, but guilty all the same. Through our inaction we have nobody but ourselves to blame;

Jeffrey Toobin wrote a very enlightening and disheartening article about the inner workings of the Supreme Court regarding their decision in Citizens v. United, featured in the New Yorker.  You can find it here.

Also here is an article about how today’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold their earlier 2010 decision will affect the future of the nation found in the Atlantic.

United State Supreme Court Building
United State Supreme Court Building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ways To Get Involved:  

Here is a site dedicated to amending the constitution to undo the conservative corporate interests of the current Supreme Court, as it has become clear they are indifferent to the corrupting influence their decision has played on electoral politics.  movetoamend.org.

The Nation also has a push to amend the constitution which you can become a part of right here, as does Bernie Sanders.

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Pink-Slip to America: A Remedial Course on Citizenship

Alrighty Then;

Newsweek recently did a study in which they asked 1,000 Americans to take the same citizenship test required of foreigners applying for naturalization. According to Newsweek, 38% failed the test. Now I’m sure that this fact does not surprise most Americans, I know that it certainly didn’t surprise me for one. But, on the same note, it also hasn’t received the amount of media attention that I would hope it would have received. There is not national outcry, no call for more education in the realm of civic duty (its common knowledge that we already have our hands full enough just teaching the current subjects). This is a statistic that scares me. Therefore I have compiled for you something of a cliffs-notes to citizenship.

I am willing to bet my life savings, the majority of Americans are unable to name their states Senators and Congressional Representatives,

let alone how to contact them to make sure their voice is heard beyond election day (mind you in any given election less than half the population even votes in the first place). Come election day, most Americans blindly cast their vote for a representative or a proposition which they neither know nor understand, and then promptly catch an acute case of amnesia, giving them free rein to impose their will until the next election cycle. This balance goes on uninterrupted year after year, unless of course said representative becomes tangled in scandals web. Funny how it takes hookers and blow, or a hummer on the clock, for American’s to become incensed, despite the fact that were being politically and economically fucked in the ass.

United States Senate Seal
United States Senate Seal (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

It’s funny that most americans speak of the nation as being theirs;

Therein lies an implied ownership, and therefore some semblance of responsibility and care. I find this implication to be by and large a false one.

The true act of OWNERSHIP, is never an effortless one.

The analogy that I wish to draw is this; It isn’t the title to a car which necessarily makes it YOURS, it’s the acts of care and upkeep which you undertake in the interests of keeping it on the road. When you go beyond the specified amount of miles without servicing your vehicle, it doesn’t stay on the road as long as possible right? Without changing the oil, replacing the brakes, and the tires, or the windshield wipers, maybe taking it into a mechanic when you’re unsure; your vehicle is destined to meet with an untimely demise. Why then is our nation any different, why treat the most important thing in our lives as if it is less than our first car? Why do we treat our country and its governance like we were all once again a kid, making false promises of responsibility to our parents to get that puppy we wanted? I’m sorry, no matter how much you would like to claim ownership, if you don’t feed it, walk it, or clean its shit up, it’s not really yours now is it?

During football season, nobody likes a monday morning quarterback,

Of course it’s easy to see the flaws in logic or execution while using the deep perceptions of hindsight, a prism of 20/20 vision. Why then do we refuse to take action on the issues important to us? Instead of seeking out the news to make informed decisions, we vote on American Idol, or the next new “reality show”. Why are we so content to allow the media to falsify or omit the facts in a tragic rendition of theater fed to the public like chinese manufactured kibbles and bits; tainted and toxic. We allow all this to happen, the wool to be pulled before our eyes, and yet we’re still puzzled at how something as corrupt as the Bernie Madoff scandal, Wall Street bailouts, insider trading from members of congress, Secret Service and escorts, the list goes on… and on…. and on… What do you expect when you structure a society around the accumulation of wealth by any means necessary? Greed begets Greed, Evil begets Evil; There is nobody to blame but yourself that your interests are not being served when you don’t follow through; cause you better believe that corporations or those with money will, and do, especially after the Citizens United decision (a decision made by an institution with our interests in mind?).

Heres a question I would like to pose to you;

 considering the fact that corporations hold all the legal rights that you or I do, including freedom of speech. Now that the Supreme Court has lifted the campaign expenditure limitations from them through the ruling in Citizens v. United as infringing upon their Freedom of Speech;
Citizens United
Citizens United (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does all men were created equal still apply?

Do you have as much “free speech” as Nike, or Apple? Are your interests treated the same when it comes time to craft policy? Maybe only in the sense that it is offered freely….

For those of you suffering from the treatable disease of being a natural born citizen of the United States, I have included a little cheat sheet. I do this in the hopes that you will use it, look at it as impartially as possible and make the decision that you feel best. Barring an unforseen accident or illness, you WILL have to LIVE with it.

  • Heres a list of your Senators
  • the Washington Post has done a nice job of compiling a list of representatives including their voting record, but it only goes back as far as 1992.
  • The ACLU also has a similar list provided here
  • If you are concerned about Citizens United and wish to get involved this is a good place to begin as is this.